Saturday, 16 August 2014

Ego vs Humility

In this industry confidence is one thing, egos are quite another.

A touch of humility is a big asset and every actor needs to remember that.
In an industry where confidence, promotion and marketing is so important it's easy to over step the mark. I was brought up in an era when, if you talked too much about your accomplishments you were considered vain, boastful,  'on yourself',' 'stuck up', 'too big for your boots' and the list goes on. At first it was hard for me to promote what I do because of this. So this is what I have learnt to do...

1. Write down your accomplishments.

Don't exaggerate. Just list every production, short film, eisteddfod, festival, tv show, feature etc that you have ever been in. Now list the most prestigious ones in a second list which will be way smaller. No one needs to know that you performed in 57 items in last year's eisteddfods, cut to the chase and make that list a list of the most impressive things you've done. Did you win an award, work with a well know actor, have a role in a TV show?

2. See yourself objectively, as a product that needs marketing.

I will never forget hiding in the bathroom cubicle at a club when I started singing in bands, waiting for the horrible girls to leave who were talking about how 'on myself' I was. I realised then that I had to create a persona "Anna, the performer" and that "Anna the person" was the everyday me. The performer has to perform and do so with confidence and if jealous people have a problem with that, then it's their problem not mine. The performer is the product that needs marketing.

3. List your strong points.

Be realistic here, you might sing fabulously in the shower, but faced with an audience, band and microphone would you really call yourself a professional singer? Your cartwheels might be impressive but they don't really qualify you as a gymnast. Nor does one term of Tae Kwon Do, make you a martial artist. Keep it relevant, even though I am really good at sewing, unless I'm looking for a job in wardrobe, it's not relevant.

4. Review your lists. Look at everything objectively.

Now you should have a realistic product to market. Use this info on your website, facebook page and any other marketing tools you have.
(See my previous blog Marketing Yourself )

5. Use your accomplishments to promote the product- YOU!

Be humble with your posts. Everyone has that friend on Instagram and Facebook whose constant narcissistic posts and bragging updates are the butt of all jokes. Don't be that person.


Everything is now in place, so let it speak for itself. Don't brag about what you've done, or list all the projects you've worked on. Don't name drop and constantly pull up your work to show others on your smartphone. Parents, this goes for you too. We know you love your child and are proud of them, but keep a lid on it. Less is more. It's okay to mention a few of their highlights, but then point people to their website and let it speak for itself.
The hardest thing in my opinion, is getting the balance just right. You need to sell yourself with confidence and a mix of humility so that you don't come off as being egotistical. This way you will appear competent, professional and a pleasant person to work with.

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